African American rural land ownership has declined significantly over the past 100 years, threatening critical family and community assets. The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service, seeks to address this problem through the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program.
A team of social scientists, including John Schelhas, research forester with the Forest Service Southern Research Station, recently completed baseline qualitative research in association with this program, using findings from over 60 in-person interviews with African American forest owners at pilot sites in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama.
Results from this study provide insights into the history, current circumstances, and goals of African American land ownership and forest management. These insights will enhance understanding and inform outreach efforts aimed at accelerating an emerging trend for African American landowners to return to forestry as a sound, land-based business strategy.
For more information, email John Schelhas at firstname.lastname@example.org